Saturday, May 23, 2015

Five on Friday...

Wow, it's been quite a long time since I last participated in "Five on Friday", and it feels good to be back!  Right now I am in hyper-gardener mode as planting time is just arriving here in New Hampshire.  A lot is going on in my garden as well as in my head so today's theme for participating in Amy's "Five on Friday" meme is just going to have to be garden themed.  I'm a day late so please forgive me and I do hope some of you still manage to make it over to say hi once again and rekindle out friendships... In case you don't know about "Five on Friday" please pop over to Amy's blog and read all about it... and join in the fun!! So anyway, here we go...

My Five things this week are:

  1. gardens
  2. garden gates
  3. bird baths and houses and feeders (okay, that really is three things but what's a girl to do?) :D
  4. flowers
  5. garden whimsy

(P.S.) thank you Pinterest today for all of the lovely dream gardenscapes

This is what I would like my garden to resemble in the front of the house... someday.

 No my actual house does not look like this... this is my house below. Can't you just see that arbor and fencing and flowers in front of my house?! 
Please pardon all the work in progress...

Oh dear, me oh my, do I want a white arbor, a red arbor with a green gate or perhaps 
a red gate and a white arbor? Do I really want a gate?  Hmmm.  

Well, since I have a red front door I suppose the best would be a red arbor with a green gate - it would fit perfectly with my converted barn home...

Then of course there are the little things to inject a little whimsy into the garden... all gardens I think should exhibit a little bit of whimsy.  How about this fountain that does not require either water or electricity to run the pump?  There is a tutorial for this that you should really check out.

Now this bird feeder is just screaming for me to make several for my barn garden... 

or perhaps one of the following examples.  Thank goodness for creative minds... :D

The birds of course need somewhere to hang their "Home Sweet Home" sign

Pretty Rose-covered birdhouse

And how cool is this?  A burlap bag instead of a felted knitted bag, fill it with soil and flowers and voila'!! Hmmm, only, what door knob would I hang it from?

And, isn't this the cutest thing?  It's made with a rusty old tea kettle and yes, 
there is a tutorial to make it here

Instructions for making a tea pot fountain.

A few birdbaths around the garden are always nice tucked in between the flowers ( I have a secret love affair going with brick at the moment)

Great use of leftover old bricks.... just stack them up and lay piece of wood on top and then lay a saucer on top. Great weekend project.

I certainly have places in the back yard to tuck beauties like these - 
on my old stone wall would be perfect but this is definitely not on this year's list... hmmm, is it?

Moss Phlox (Phlox subulata) is a richly flowering, clump-forming phlox that stays green in both summer and winter. In spring these plants produce innumerable crimson and white flowers that attract butterflies. These Phlox like to be planted in full sunshine.

Oh and what's a country garden without a swing? I'm sure I have a pinned tutorial on making a backyard swing...

~ Swings ~

This would look so lovely as a side entrance to the garden, 
okay minus the palm tree in the back right corner as we haven't had palm trees probably since the Jurassic period

Mille Fleurs, Guerns Beautiful gorgeous pretty flowers

Oh my gosh, this would be so great in between two raised beds to add vertical growing space!!!


And, and, and... well as you can see I have a really good case of gardening fever!

Thanks for popping by for a quick visit...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

In The Beginning...

I know it doesn't look like I've made much progress except for adding more supplies to the front of the house... but I have actually gotten some things done.  Just as a little refresher... this is what it all looked like several weeks ago before I started the work...Eeek!

I have since mulched the bed where my huge azalea lives

Mulched the right front side of the garage where a very nice patch of my orange day lilies live, 

laid down the newspaper and straw and put together my herb and salad raised bed - thought it was a good idea to keep that close to the front door so I could just pop out to pick the evening salad!!!  I also pruned and fed the roses and the hydrangea but those you can't really see until they begin to bloom. Nonetheless it feels nice to tick off something from my looooooong list!

It has taken me a couple of weeks of ruminating over what the front layout should actually look like and I finally have the plans in my head of what and where... sorry, you all have to wait ...  This weekend DH promised to help and we will have 3 days so a lot should happen in ye olde garden.

First off the remaining hydrangea, my strawberry hydrangea (pic just in case you don't remember what it looks like) :D (er, umm, that is what it will eventually look like) giggle...

along with the remaining two yellow rose bushes will be moved up front.  This year the front garden, the veggie raised beds, which will be off closer to the meadow, and the bed that wraps around from the front to the side of the closed in porch, and re-vamping the front walkway, which is mostly grown over and is seriously sagging,

are the only projects on the list (Ha! the only projects... sheesh that's a lot! The back and side - out from the house ( a large part of the back isn't even in this shot!),

are just so huge they are going to take some serious thought as to low maintenance as well as low cost to install.  I do hope to also put in some espalier fruit trees out by the veggie raised beds  but I digress... my head is just so filled with garden ideas... I wish my wallet was that full, lol!!!

I also dream of later this summer finding two Adirondack chairs for the yard but I digress again... I swear I need blinders on to keep myself focused...  do you have that problem?  Oh well, anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, not having enough money to do all the wonderful gardening things one can do... oh me, oh my, what's a girl to do? ... LOL!

Well, off to do some knitting now... oh dear, I keep saying that and haven't shown you any photos for some time... well, not today either, lol but soon... promise!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

SOLD, so to speak...

Hi all, well today all of my boxes of paper arts stuff are shipping out in the mail to my new friend in Utah.  I can't wait to get these boxes out of my living room, lol!  I have a few more things to wrap up and ship out to another blogging sister in California but the bulk of stuff will be on its way to new and loving homes,..YAY!!!

Whew I am pooped from all that wrapping... it's amazing how much time it takes to wrap things up for shipping... but it's done!

Now moving on to the garden... got another bed mulched yesterday but boy those black flies.. I made a good meal for the little beasts while I was working.  I couldn't get back in the house fast enough. Now all I need is the bricks for edging this new bed and it will be complete.  One exciting surprise was finding a volunteer lilac bush growing in the corner up against the house on the right there in the photo.  Next year hopefully there will be flowers on it!

In the bed below is my gorgeous azalea bush, a couple of varieties of day lilies I put in 3 years ago, my peony that I rescued from an over grown spot in my ex-neighbors field and in the back just to the right of the azalea is my New Dawn rose bush.  Now that I have mulched hopefully she will get enough sunlight and start growing and climbing.  I hope to have the rose grow up and around that front side of the house.  As with all gardening and Mother Nature... time, time, time...

Here is a close-up of the little lilac bush... I am so excited to see how well it is doing in it's chosen spot.  I just love when Mother Nature takes charge and decides where things are going to grow best! Yes, you can see behind the next bed that needs to be filled in with mulch and some perennial flowers... I call it my rock garden as it is full of  the exposed tips of very large rocks.

Still have a lot more to do, moving the 3 hydrangeas, 3 rose bushes and laying down new gravel for the walk, plus putting in the raised bed(s), oh and one more bed to mulch.  I think for the raised beds I am going to begin with a small 4'x4' bed close to the front door for herbs and salad greens and such. What with all the deer and turkeys we have I am going to put the other larger (8'x4') closer than I would like to the house in the hopes of keeping them safe from munching little deer lips, LOL!

From the view below you can see just how much more work is left in both the front of the house as well as back by the ancient stone wall where another much older lilac bush resides.  It really could use some TLC but I just haven't had the energy to get back there yet.  I think that will have to wait until either fall or next spring.  Back there is where the hydrangeas and roses are that I am moving up front for a better show.  I'm hoping next year to also build a simple platform to put up one of those screened in garden tents and put a nice garden chair and table set so we can partake of the nicer weather without being munched alive by the black flies.

I hope next year to also tend to the old stone wall that runs along the back of our house and up the side by that old lilac bush.  It is starting to get grown over terribly and is in danger of disappearing... I think it will make a gorgeous backdrop for the screened in tent, and our screened in porch.  I will try to get back there and take photos so you all can see exactly what I am talking about.  Well, til later my dear blogging sisters... I'm off to sit and knit and sip my cappuccino on the screened in porch for a bit...

Ta for now

Monday, May 11, 2015

Barter Anyone?

Hi everyone.  I have decided to post on my blog at the suggestion of a very wonderful blogging sister KathyinOzarks.  I am looking to barter off my extensive paper arts supplies and tools collection which is largely brand new items in exchange for a single treadle Irish tension preferably, spinning wheel.  What is on offer:

  • approximately $300.00 worth of brand new dies (Spellbinder’s, Cheery Lynn, Poppy, Anna Griffin, Tim Holtz, 8 Tim Holtz alphabet dies and more) plus magnetic sheets and two Artbin storage cases with handles for storing the dies in a small footprint and well organized fashion.  I have already labeled most of the dies on the magnetic sheets as to brand and what the die name is!
  • $125.00 of paper pads both 12x12 and 6x6 (Graphic 45, DCWV, Recollection, Webster Pages, American Crafts, Bazzil)
  • Practically new Anna Griffin die cut machine with two sets of cutting plates as well as extension plates and a metal - thin die shim
  • Embossing Boutique embossing machine w/ plates - brand new
  • Two portfolios of embossing folders, approximately 60 embossing folders in all plus the folios to store them in - all are brand new!
  • Rubber stamps - Unity sets, Tim Holtz sets and other name brands - all except a couple of stamps are brand new
  • Ranger Distress Ink refills, approximately 16 colors, 6 are un-opened others are mostly full
  • Fiskars stamp aligners both small and large - brand new
  • Stencil Girl and other name brand stencils in various sizes and designs - brand new
  • Entire demonstrator kit from Close to My Heart - includes approximately $125.00 worth of supplies - ink pads, glue sticks, paper, small book to be embellished, markers, ink pad stamp cleaner and cleaner fluid, ribbon, embellishments, several sets of fabulous stamps, Versamark embossing ink pad and re-inker, stack of blank card stock and matching envelope, double sided pop-ups, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a couple of things
  • paper flowers, 7 or so dozen in various colors - mostly the coveted small roses
  • box making scoring tool - brand new
  • Adirondack spray mists
  • Adirondack Color wash sprays in the older 4 oz bottles 
  • Martha Stewart paper punches and other brands
  • Copic Marker paper 
  • Set of 6 Copic Markers, new, colors: BV02, BV08, V17, E37, G99, B29
  • Many rolls of double sided Scor Tape: 1/8th”, 1/4” and 1/2”
  • and more misc. stuff I can’t remember right now
I am looking for a quality single treadle spinning wheel with low-ish mileage preferably Irish tension. I will consider many different brands with quality equal or close to equal of what I have to barter.
I am bartering the entire lot… this is not meant to be broken up into smaller offerings. If you have a paper arts interest and a spinning wheel from your collection you would like to give a new and loving home let me know.
Please, only serious interests to contact me… I can send photos of a solid sampling of the things I am bartering off. And would need photos of the wheel you are interested in bartering.
I do need to get these things out of my studio as I need the room to get started weaving for craft fairs this coming fall so time is of the essence.
Thanks for looking and your continued friendships through all of our blogging adventures.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

To all you wonderful Mom's and Mum's out there...

May today be filled with bliss and joy!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Did someone say, "Projects?"

I know I have been seriously missing in action of late but the work continues with the clear out brought on by the mouse invasion, and I have also been taking some online classes for weaving as well as some specialty stitches in knitting.  I guess the mice actually did me a favor of sorts.  It made me really take stock of what I wanted from both my studio and my art.

I love all the mixed media we see out there today but it just wasn't working for me - crazy as it may sound it was all feeling rather pointless.  Of course art has a purpose of inspiring the soul of the viewer but somehow, for me, it wasn't enough... I was never going to be a Monet.

So, the ultimate decision was to go onto an entirely different path and make things with a more practical purpose in mind.  I guess I fail miserably at "playing" with my art. Oh well, I am currently happy with making a multitude of things involving natural fibers such as blankets, rugs, scarves, mittens, shawls, and a quilt or two every now and then.

I have been pursuing my lace knitting with a vengeance and do have some photos...but at the moment I am head over heals in love with double knitting!!!  No samples yet but I will be working on a practice piece for my class later today.

I fell in love with this knitted lace zig-zag throw the moment I saw it last year!  Those gray stripes are my life-lines, which after incredible amounts of ripping out and starting entirely over again I found are the only way to go when doing lace.  The yarn is white cotton from Lily "Peaches and Cream" and using a size 9 US 40" circular needle.

Lace shawl pattern from one of my online classes, which I have also ripped out and started from scratch far too many times. Now that I use life-lines hopefully I will finish this little wrap soon!  The thing about lace knitting is when you make a mistake often it is extremely difficult to figure out how to undo and re-knit the mistake... or at least it is for me. Perhaps with more years experience with knitting that will become less of a problem... one can only hope! :D

The studio will be unveiled as soon as the very last of my paper arts supplies make their way next week to a new friend in Utah as a barter in exchange for ... fibery goodness and a spinning wheel!  I know, I know... but this is a single treadle Louet s15, which I think just may work out for me.

Now, to the garden, er umm.  What a mess this past heavy snow laden winter made.  Most of the wildflowers on the side bed by our screened in back porch are gone!  So, for this year I am going to just mulch that bed and leave it to ruminate for a season.  The iris bed made it and will be making a show soon... photos will come when the flowers show their lovely faces.

The roses I am still unsure of but I am still going to give them a gentle pruning and feed and mulching.  The day lilies did the best and have spread quite a bit so I expect a really nice show from them in late June early July.

The hydrangeas are going to involve a move from their current spot, they just don't seem to be happy where they are now.  I may also move 3 roses to a more front of house orientation.  The raised veggie beds Will go in this year, Yay!!!  Home Depot had a huge sale two weeks ago on mulch and soil as you will see in the following photos...

First bed to be mulched this year.  These day lilies doubled in size over the winter!!!

Home Depot spoils - 30 bags of soil and 16 large bags of mulch... I think that should get me well on my way for the garden this year... don't you?

My very first ever wheel barrow - and she's red!!!  It doesn't get any better than that!  Yes, you can see the mess of flower beds and pots from last summer that are crying out for attention... don't worry little pots Mom is coming :D  I need more gravel to fill in the walkway again and I am also going to fill in around those path stones with gravel - I'm thinking about putting our grill there... and gosh the entire yard needs some new grass. I wonder how much seed is needed to even out all the spaces and make the grass species more cohesive.

As you can see spring has just barely begun here in New England.  My azalea bush is just beginning to leaf out and the buds for the flowers are not quite ready but when they do oh my what a show! The most lovely deep orange I have ever seen in an azalea bush.  

Oh, and yes, my little helper from the front window - she doesn't let that stained glass window I hung to block the view of the logged land across the road get in her way!!! Did I mention Precocious is Savannah's middle name?

Well, that's about it for today... hope you all are enjoying your spring!!!